Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dear Republican Parents, I'm Voting For Obama!

Video: "We Are The Ones - Obama Speech Remix"

Music: Bentley Kalaway Production: Keith Ranney

Dear Mom & Dad,

This November 4th we’ll be making a choice regarding the future of America. Once again we have an opportunity to redefine the leadership role America plays in the world. The challenges we face as a nation, in a world of diverse peoples, demands that we celebrate our diversity and harness the abundant energy that is released when we work together toward the common good.

This is a mission I’ve been well trained for. As parents, you taught me to see the best in people, to wish for their highest good, to respect my elders, to be chivalrous and kind, to say “yes sir” and “thank you”.

My most vivid memory of a lesson in compassion was when dad saw an elderly man who had slipped on an icy sidewalk and fallen. We were driving in a bitterly cold Ohio snow storm so he could have easily thought “this isn’t my responsibility” and enjoyed the dryness and comfort of our heated car. Instead, after we slid to a stop and he put the car in park, he leapt out and ran to a complete stranger’s aid. When the man was upright and steady, he stayed with him until the old man indicated he was OK before jumping back in the car, covered with ice and snow.

Dad didn’t say anything while we continued our journey. He didn’t have to say, “That’s what compassion is” because the lesson was in his choice to put someone else’s comfort and safety ahead of his own. That was the day I learned about true heroism.

At the time I thought, “Wow, that’s my dad!” but the thought-form that crystallized deep in my psyche plays a key role in who I am today – someone who always tries to be aware of other’s in need and to lend a hand.

When we moved to a new neighborhood in Cleveland and all our neighbors had strange last names, I learned the lessons of inclusion. You never said, “don’t play with THOSE people, they believe in a different God”. Rather, you taught “there is no spot where God is not.”

Those were simpler times, when “Father Knows Best” (a “classic” ‘50’s/60’s TV show - for you youngsters) symbolized my privileged life as a middle class white kid growing up in a post Ike Eisenhower American mid-west. I also remember the words that triggered my political awakening, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. In 1960, at age 5, I broke the family party line and proudly sported a Kennedy/Johnson button. Then, on Nov. 22, 1963, my worldly innocence was shattered by a mysterious physics defying bullet that silenced MY first president.

You also taught me that if I was wrong, the higher road was to admit it. You would have never tolerated my bullying or blaming someone else to get my way. You taught “I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper”.

I sometimes think that your loyalty to the Republican Party follows the tradition of sports fans and their unwavering faith and projection of hope for the home team. But we’re not talking about a football game. Our collective choices carry life and death consequences. Those who have usurped the socially responsible principals of our fore fathers define themselves in their words and actions; in their glib and insidious disregard for basic human consideration, in their constant rattling of the swords of aggression and focus on the “evil out there” as a distraction from the corruption right here, and here, and here, and here. And did I mention here?

The Republican Party has sold out to an unholy military-industrial alliance placing BigOil, BigPharma and Big Agro-Chemical consistently ahead of our health and well being; all this to protect an economy that’s perceived to be in competition with the natural world – a world of cooperative balance that is key to our very survival. Or as Al Gore reminds us, “We borrow money from China to buy oil in the Persian Golf to burn it in ways that are harmful to the planet.” He is so right in saying “Everything about that must change.”

And yet, because this urgent warning comes from the “other team” (the enemy of corporate greed and US hegemony), it is ignored, scoffed at, attacked, criticized and/or Fox’d – leading us merrily down a dead end – a hopeless future for my nieces and nephews, your grandkids.

In other words, the actions of the Republican Party, circa 2008, go against the values you instilled in me. The majority of the Republican National Convention was focused on Barack Obama (because he threatens their power). In contrast, Obama’s message was that his campaign isn’t about him, it’s about “you” (us - the people).

The tangible sensation of hope I feel when I listen to Barack Obama takes me right back to my youth; to the pride and hope I felt as a young American growing up in a great family, with my whole life ahead of me…

The Obama presidential candidacy represents a necessary shift from top down control and imposition over our freedoms to grass-roots, bottoms up, honoring of our constitutional rights, and of our right to self determination. The republicans have clearly demonstrated that they have no remorse for the direction they have taken the country (and the world) and care only for the continuation of power and control, further widening the divide between the haves and have-nots - further degrading our former standing amongst fellow nations.

I could also share a laundry list of politically driven “sell outs” and disappointments I have with the Democrats. So I don’t need to defend a competing ideology that is also focused on control. Perhaps with Barack’s leadership the Dems will actually carry out the will of the people, the 71% of us that don’t agree with the Republicans in power.

What excites me is an individual, Barack Obama, who exactly matches the poignant lessons of my youth. When asked to comment on Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin’s, personal life, Barack’s response was “We don’t go there”.

That’s what I want for a president. That’s the heroism I saw in Dad and the heroic leadership I want representing me on the world stage – someone who is intelligent, articulate, and who is in touch with his humanity - not another bully who thinks only in militaristic terms (“fight for me”) and who carelessly chooses a Vice Presidential running mate; a person who is a heart beat away from Commander and Chief, purely for political leverage – a woman who would strip “control of their own bodies” away from woman and who would drill the life blood out of mother earth, despite the fact that everything about a fossil fuel based economy must change.

The grand old party has become a ruthless thug supporting unconscionable practices that consistently suppress any act of human decency that gets in the way of corporate greed. These are not the family values you instilled in me and which I try to live through community service.

48 years after JFK’s message of national stewardship, four decades after MLK’s dream was martyred, just 7 years after the even more mysterious events of 9/11, our country and our family is divided. My beloved and I are answering JFK’s, MLK’s and Obama’s challenge, using our combined resources in music and media to help us all remember the essential human factors that the weapons of mass distraction (corporate owned media) attempt to drown out 24/7/365.

We support the fundamentals of a “Change you can believe in” which is a fitting motto for an individual with real character, and a campaign run with integrity, funded by the people and consistently focused on the will of the majority and fairness for all.

The delivery of our message will bypass the mainsteam media and reach everyday people through social networks and word of mouth. It’s not too late to support a leader that puts people first and ideologies second, that has the decency to “not go there” when it comes to attacking American’s private lives, whether they are politicians or just hard working folk.

Whether our message of hope goes viral and contributes to a tipping point or get’s marginalized by the “forces that control” we want to offer you another chance to reflect on the lessons you believed enough to teach and chose an individual who’s in touch with and lives those values.

I love you,

Your son,